Master Biometrics Identification Systems

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Comments about Master Biometrics Identification Systems - At the institution - London - Greater London

  • Objectives
    A student successfully completing the course should be able to: - Critically evaluate the reliability of various biometric access control technologies. - Critically analyse the user acceptability of various biometric access control systems. - Demonstrate a critical understanding of the limitations of biometric access control systems. - Demonstrate a critical insight into the psychological and cognitive issues for users in the design of effective biometric devices. - Demonstrate innovation, creativity and initiative in the development of effective and efficient biometric access control systems. - Demonstrate the ability to test various biometric systems for security vulnerabilities. - Act in a professional capacity to assess and advice on security implications for access controls, including privacy and ethical issues - Demonstrate the ability to integrate biometric systems within different professional/business contexts.
  • Entry requirements
    Applicants will normally have obtained a 2:1 UK degree (or equivalent) in a computer science discipline or a subject with a strong IT component. Applicants will be assessed on an individual basis, with professional experience taken into consideration.
  • Academic title
    MSc Biometrics Identification Systems
  • Course description
    Biometrics refers to the automatic identification of a person based on his or her physiological, behavioural or morphological characteristics. This method of identification is preferred over traditional methods involving passwords and PIN (personal identification numbers) numbers because it requires the person (user) to be physically present for the identification process.

    Biometric access controls eliminate the need for users to remember passwords or carry a token. With the increased use of computers as portable and static media, it is necessary to restrict access to any sensitive or personal information held within databases.

    Biometric techniques can replace PINs, and so potentially prevent any unauthorised access to or fraudulent use of ATMs (automated telling machines), workstations, smart cards, desktop PCs, cellular phones and computer networks. PINs and passwords can easily be forgotten, and token based methods of identification like, photocards, passports and driver's licenses can be stolen, forged, or simply accidentally lost.

    Various types of biometric systems are being used for real-time identification, with the most popular being based on face recognition and fingerprint matching. However, there are other biometric systems that utilise iris and retinal scan, speech, facial thermograms, and hand geometry.

    With reductions in prices for tools, and greater acceptability by users, biometric identification systems are certainly becoming invaluable technology for home and work.

    Course Content

    Compulsory Modules
    Biometric Identification Systems (Westminster)
    Examines the need, history and growth of biometric technology. Introduces applied biometric access controls for security functions within business. Physiological, behavioural and morphological characteristics are considered in relation to signatures, fingerprints, hand geometry and DNA. Proposes alternative, non-security business and social applications for Biometrics. Considers legal and ethical issues in the use of biometrics.

    Visual Recognition Systems (Westminster)
    Introduces facial recognition, computer vision and perception. Presents the computational techniques used in the interpretation of images and their relation to the known mechanisms of biological vision. Considers the effectiveness of iris and retinal scanning. Introduces web-based technology and video-conferencing utilities.

    Optional Modules

    Programming for Biometrics (Westminster)
    Introduces classical logic and its extensions, modal logic, temporal logic and basic problem solving methods employed in Artificial Intelligence. Presents an in-depth analysis of two major, AI programming languages used in industry: Java & Javascript for the design of Applets and Server Pages. Reinforces Visual Basic programming skills.

    Intelligent Computing (Westminster)
    Introduces the specific characteristics of man/machine interaction, and the techniques and tools used in the design of user interfaces. Considers keystrokes and signatures. Introduces concepts of machine learning, intelligent computing and data-mining.

    Usability and man-machine interface (Friedberg)
    Introduces the basic concepts of neuro-science and the psychology of human cognition and the understanding and the meaning of Cognitive Science in the design of biometrics. Considers user-acceptability issues for access controls. Also includes linguistics in the design of voice recognition systems.

    Thwarting attacks on Biometrics Systems (Friedberg)
    Introduces advanced strategies for security hardening. Considers reliability of biometrics access controls. Critically compares alternative access controls (password, smart cards, tokens). Testing of security vulnerabilities in access controls. Explores security loopholes for relevant operating systems (e.g. UNIX, Windows NT, Windows 2000).

    Forensic and Legal Aspects of Biometrics (Friedberg)
    Introduces the history of biometric methods in forensic and understanding of the current methods used. International forensic and identification standards are discussed as well as penetration testing methods of biometrics identification systems.

    Testing and Evaluation (Friedberg)
    Gives a critical overview of the performance of currently available biometrics identification systems and discuses security requirements of biometrics in consideration with the available economical resources.

    Additional Information
    How long will the course take?
    The course is run in BLOCK mode. This means that each module is typically four weeks in duration, with the first week consisting of full-time intensive lectures, tutorials and lab work. This is then followed by four weeks of reflection, assimilation and student-oriented study. The course can be completed in one calendar year full-time or 2-5 years part-time.

    Where is the course taught?
    This is a joint MSc programme that it is delivered at the University of Westminster in London, UK and the University of Applied Sciences Giessen-Friedberg in Germany.

    Who is the course designed for?
    This course is designed for practitioners, professionals and graduates with an interest in access controls, security, business and artificial intelligence.

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